The Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon was my first try at the 13.1-mile distance, and I was bound and determined not to repeat the rookie mistakes I’ve made in previous races. In last year’s Run For Oromia 10k and Twin Cities Marathon, I felt good at the beginning and started way too fast. With my Timex Bodylink GPS system I knew that I would be able to monitor my pace often, and I hoped that I could stick with my race plan and avoid flaming out.
Conditions were perfect today. It was just under 50°F at the start and almost 60°F by the end. It was just cold enough at the start that everyone kept their outer layers on until the last minute. Since the race goes point-to-point, I appreciated the fact that they transported our warmups to the finish for us. The course ran along Lake Minnetonka (go figure from the name of the race) and was hillier than I’d expected. Nothing too steep or long, but lots of them.
My plan was to do the first couple miles at 9:00 pace, 8:45 pace until 10k, 8:30 pace until 10 miles, and then empty the tank in the final 5k.
From the looks of the graph, I’d say my game plan went quite well. The two slower miles at 6 and 11 were due to a combination of slowing for water stops and some hills. I’m definitely happy with the trend line. I’ve never been able to do negative splits before.
The official results haven’t been posted yet, but the time on my watch was 1:53:40. I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t broken two hours, and I was hoping to go under 1:55. According to the Running Times Race Time Equivalent calculator, that puts my projected marathon time at 4:01:34. I’d really like to break four hours at Grandma’s Marathon on June 21, so I guess I’m going to need to get my lazy butt out of bed a little earlier and log some more miles.
Update: The results are in. I finished officially in 1:53:42 placing 472 out of 1449 overall and 103/192 in my age group. (One nice thing about turning 40 later this year is that I get to start competing against guys who are older than I am.) My knees are a bit sore tonight, but it’s a good kind of sore.